Artist Alley

Emil Ferris – 2020 Creator Keynote Speaker

Emil Ferris is an American writer, cartoonist, and designer. Ferris debuted in publishing with her 2017 graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, a coming-of-age story of Karen Reyes, a girl growing up in 1960s Chicago.  The book is written and drawn in the form of the character’s notebook. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters was heralded as a “masterpiece” by Forbes and The AV Club, among others and has garnered numerous awards, including:

  • 2017 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel for My Favorite Thing Is Monsters
  • 2017 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist
  • 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Graphic Novel for My Favorite Thing Is Monsters
  • 2018 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist
  • 2018 Gran Guinigi Award for Best Graphic Novel
  • 2019 Grand prix de la critique ACBD
  • 2019 Fauve d’or at Angoulême International Comics Festival


Nick Sousanis – 2020 Scholar Keynote Speaker

Nick Sousanis is an Eisner-winning comics author and an assistant professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University, where he is starting a Comics Studies program. He received his doctorate in education at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014, where he wrote and drew his dissertation entirely in comic book form. Titled Unflattening, it argues for the importance of visual thinking in teaching and learning, and was published by Harvard University Press in 2015. Unflattening received the 2016 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Humanities, the Lynd Ward Prize for best Graphic Novel of 2015, and was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic work. To date, Unflattening has been translated into FrenchKoreanPortugueseSerbianPolishItalian, and Chinese.

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ARTIST ALLEY 2020

Julia Alekseyeva – http://www.jalekseyeva.com/

Dr. Julia Alekseyeva is a scholar and artist specializing in documentary non-fiction graphic narratives, comics journalism, and memoir. Her debut full-length graphic novel, a nonfiction historical memoir entitled Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution, was published by Microcosm in January 2017. It won the 2017 VLA Diversity Award in the Adult category, and has been featured in NPR, Lilith, Tablet, The Week, and The Rumpus. Shorter non-fiction graphic essays and minicomics have been published in Full Bleed, The Nib, Jewish Currents, Paper Brigade, and Lilith. She is currently working on a collection of graphic essays on art, literature, and culture.
Alongside her artistic practice, her scholarship investigates the interactions between global media and radical leftist politics. She is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the English Department and Cinema and Media Studies program (CIMS). Her courses frequently combine history, theory, and media production elements.

Will Arnold – www.workpandp.com

Work Press & Publication is an independent print and publishing house founded in 2013 by Will Arnold and Tate Foley. Work Press started because of a mutual interest in small-press, short-run, desktop publishing and Risograph printing. We are interested in creative projects that situate themselves in a mezzanine between fine artist’s books and efficiently produced zines. While a lot of Work Press’s books and prints contain various printing and production processes, Risograph printing is at the heart of our shop.

GS Baldridge – www.patreon.com/Teech

GS Baldridge is a teacher and cartoonist living in Columbus, Ohio. He has taught in the Southwest, South, and Midwest. His comics focus on the inner workings of education, student advocacy, and the pursuit of equity of voice. His work has been published in the “Columbus Scribbler” and has been distributed among dozens of schools and zine libraries.

Blind Alley Comicswww.blindalleycomics.com

Hailing from Lansing, MI, Blind Alley Comics’ mission is to rock the world of comics with its mind-boggling original stories and art. Co-conspirators Rick Schlaack (The Human Cannonball) and Joe Haines (The Strange Adventures of Bone Boy) want to bring amazement, thrills, and happiness to their audience with every issue.

Bill Campbell – www.rosariumpublishing.com

Bill Campbell is the author of Sunshine Patriots, My Booty Novel, and Pop Culture: Politics, Puns, “Poohbutt” from a Liberal Stay-at-Home Dad, Koontown Killing Kaper, and Baaaad Muthaz. Along with Edward Austin Hall, he co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He also co-edited Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (with Nisi Shawl); APB: Artists against Police Brutality (with Jason Rodriguez and John Jennings); and Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction. He also edited Sunspot Jungle, Vols. I and II: The Ever Expanding Universe of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He is currently working on a graphic novel, The Day the Klan Came to Town, with Bizhan Khodabandeh, to be published by PM Press in 2021. Campbell lives in Washington, DC, where he helms Rosarium Publishing.

Brian Canini – https://drunkencatcomics.com

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio Brian Canini has been cartooning and creating stories ever since he took hold of his first crayon. Allowing his imagination to grow has enabled him to create worlds of characters of all shapes and sizes.  He follows his belief that to create comics the art style must feel right for the story and this has led him to harness a vast array of styles and techniques in an ever growing number of genres. Through his efforts in self-publishing he has created the award-winning autobio graphic novels Fear of Flying and The Big Year, the critically-acclaimed crime comic Ruffians, and is one half of the team duo that produces the award-winning webcomic Drunken CaT.

Bob Corby – www.backporchcomics.com

Bob Corby is the guy who runs SPACE (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo) in Columbus each year.  He is currently a part-time engineer and part-time cartoonist living with his imaginary friends. He publishes the annual small press comics anthology “Oh,Comics!” He is currently working on a comic consisting of short stories revisiting some of his old characters.

Sean Dempsey – http://www.smdempseycomics.com

Sean graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. His independent comics focus on curiosity and adventure through traveling or misfit characters. Whether in a comic, illustration, or cartoon, Sean’s stories embrace a balance of innocent and cynical protagonists. He hopes to create diverse, relatable characters that the audience can witness their inner growth, discovery, and individuality.

Dragon Paradox Studio – https://www.tfotrart.com/

Dragon Paradox Studio is a team of artist (TFOTR) and writer (C.B. Baldwin). They create artwork. merch such as stickers and charms, as well as take commissions/ They also have an ongoing comic series, Sole Vigilance.

Matt Feazell – www.cynicalman.net

Matt Feazell comics and spot illustrations have appeared in Disney Adventures and Nickleodeon Magazine. His regular weekly series, “The Amazing Cynicalman” appears in the Hamtramck Review and Flint Comix & Entertainment newspapers as well as at www.cynicalman.com. He’s currently promoting his latest project, “Stick Figure Presidents.”

Michael Fehskens – www.michaelfehskens.com

Born in Bucks County Pennsylvania, and graduated Columbus College of Art & Design in 2012, studying illustration. Spent many years creating while with Columbus Metropolitan Library. Contributor to the Columbus Scribbler, nominated for the Eisner Award for the Best Comics Periodical of 2019.

Jandro Gamboa – labishka-ink.com

Jandro Gamboa is a second-generation high school teacher.  After years of talking about it, he finally started publishing a comic book series called “Monty Gomez Is the Luchador” through his Labishka Ink imprint.  Jandro lives in Santa Maria, CA, with his very patient wife named Mary and a domestic shorthair cat named Jango Whartuth.

Kristie Good – http://karmadaarts.com

Kristie Good is a combination of a self-taught and classically trained artist, having taken many art classes but fell in love with the comics genre at an early age. Promptly diving headfirst into all the knowledge she could find not only did she want to apply it, but she also wanted to share her findings. As she began to work in the comic medium, she discovered she enjoyed writing drama, but more importantly also couldn’t help but add humor and mirth to whatever she wrote. That energy carries over into her worlds and characters, providing both a lighthearted but also deep and meaningful conversations, topics, and connections. On top of putting this into her artwork, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, teaching many about the finer points of comic drawing and compositions at various conventions and libraries throughout the Midwest.

MSU Graphic Novels Club – https://m.facebook.com/groups/450689481701966?group_view_referrer=profile_browser

Come visit our table to see and buy the stories our student artists have made throughout the school year.

Courtney Hahn – Courtneyartstuffs.com

A cartoonist from Fort Wayne, IN who loves drawing UFOs, cowboys and dog monsters. Having self published for most of her career, her next big thing is just around the corner thanks to the 212 Incubator.

Brandon L. Hankins – brandonlionhearted.com

Brandon L. Hankins is a comics creator and ink painter from Detroit, currently living in East Lansing, Michigan. He focuses on telling action-packed and meaningful fantasy stories, intent on affecting people positively and profoundly. A student of the Japanese art of ink painting, or sumi-e, Brandon strives to infuse every stroke of his brush with life, energy, and honesty.

Daniel J. Hogan – clattertron.com

Daniel J. Hogan is a an award-winning Lansing cartoonist who works with inks and watercolors, as well as making digital art. His focus is creating humorous illustrations that get a smile or a chuckle out of the viewer. His inspirations include the goofy creations of Dr. Seuss, Jim Henson, and Harvey Kurtzman. Daniel writes and draws the all-ages fantasy humor comic, Foxes & Boxes, found at clattertron.com and on the WEBTOON app. Daniel self-published the first Foxes & Boxes collection, No Refunds, in 2019. Learn more about Daniel and read his blog at danieljhogan.com. Make sure to follow Daniel on Instagram, @clattertron.

Junicorn Stories – www.instagram.com/junicornstories/

Jude Nevermind (Kate Cosgrove) is a storyteller through art. She is a published children’s book illustrator, her latest PB is titled AND THE BULLFROGS SING A LIFE CYCLE BEGINS written by David L. Harrison, published by Holiday House. She is a 2016 Barbara Deming Grant recipient for her papercut illustration exhibition highlighting strong girl characters in novels. Her illustrations served as set decorations in the Emily Blunt / Colin Firth film ARTHUR NEWMAN. She is Individual Artist Grant Recipient from the ACGL and also received a scholarship to attend Crafting Author and Illustrator School Visits at Highlights Foundation.

Junicorn Algebra is a 9 year old funny person and published artist. Her drawings were used as hidden easter eggs throughout the book “The Purple Pussycat” by Margaret Hillert, illustrated by Kate Cosgrove and published by Norwood House Press.

Dale Lazarov / Sticky Graphic Novels – StickyGraphicNovels.com

Dale Lazarov is known as The Stan Lee of Gay and The Father of American Bara Comics as the writer, art director and licensor of Sticky Graphic Novels. Sticky Graphic Novels are wordless, gay character-based, sex-positive graphic novels for an international audience that are considered “a joyous expression of male/male sexuality that, while erotic, is neither grubby nor tasteless” (*The Novel Approach*). Since 2006, he has collaborated on 16 hardcover Sticky Graphic Novels and 42 digital editions with distinctive and evocative gay comics artists from around the globe. In his secret identity, he is Aldo Alvarez, Ph.D., and lives in Chicago.

Maamoul Press – maamoulpress.com

Maamoul Press is a multi-disciplinary collective for the creation, curation and dissemination of art at the intersection of comics, printmaking, and book arts. We seek to uplift work from a diverse range of creators from marginalized backgrounds, fostering the arts in those communities through publishing, workshops, exhibitions, and distribution.

Chris Mattei – chrismatteiart.com

Chris Mattei is a recent grad from the MSU art department where he focused on graphic design and illustration. His work often deals with widely understood, human issues but set in other-worldly environments inhabited by anthropomorphic characters. He recently self-published a collection of short stories that have been carried in various local comic shops. He is living in Lansing and is currently working on the next installment of his book.

Britt Monday – https://brittmonday0.wixsite.com/portfolio

Britt Monday is a queer Michigan-based comics creator with comics both in print and online. She favors the nib and brush pen, and enjoys blending a friendly, cute style with supernatural horror and existential dread.

Lisa Naffziger – https://lisanaffziger.crevado.com

Lisa Naffziger is a comic artist and children’s book illustrator from the midwest. In March of 2014, she graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. Her debut YA graphic novel, Minus was released in 2019 through Iron Circus Comics. She currently maintains a webcomic (Taking Back Toku) about giant monsters and practical effects artists.

Sarah Allen Reed – sarahallenreed.com

Born with a decidedly different name and assigned gender near Saint Louis, Missouri, Sarah picked up a pen at the age of eight and drew her first comic book, and–despite the world’s valiant attempts to stop her–that’s more or less what she’s been doing since. Her work deals with loss, trans and queer issues, her own battles with mental illness and homeless, and the psychology of trauma and religion. She currently resides in rural Colorado; although, as with everything else in life, this is subject to change.

REDCAT – http://redcatcomics.com/

REDCAT is a coffee-fueled indie comic creator located in Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s been creating comics her entire life, with her current projects being the light-horror series Spiritus Maximus, the fantasy series Witches & Sorcerers, and the sci-fi minicomic series Zombio: A Space Adventure. You can follow her work @REDCATcomics on social media.

Corinne Roberts – www.corinneroberts.com

Corinne Roberts writes and illustrates the ongoing web comic series “Out and About” (1 & 2). She has written/illustrated Trip to Trekka and Imaginary Sea 1,2,3! Along with her books, she illustrated the web comic, Kitty Game and games such as, Unreal Estate, Dodgy Dinos and Founding Fathers Fisticuffs. She will be releasing another written/illustrated comic through Source Point Press in 2020.

Lora Root – lemonbrows.com

Lora is a Michigan-based student, artist and comics ruffian currently studying in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State. Her work centers around themes of loss and self-discovery, with a dash of Shakespearean reference thrown in the mix.

Dean Edward StahlDeanstahlart.com

I am an artist who works in traditional media. I have created a 3 issue series of wrestling based comics called Headlocks & Headaches and am currently developing more works.

Jaromir Stoll – https://jaromirstoll.wixsite.com/website

Stoll is a comics creator, scholar, and Assistant Professor at Columbus College of Art & Design. He is committed to visual storytelling on the ineffable in life – with recent works in Rainbow Reflections: Body Image Comics for Queer Men and Blocked: Stories from the World of Online Dating. He edits and publishes as Great Bear Comics, including DOGS! An Anthology of Comics on Our Canine Companions with Vidyun Sabhaney and Ursa Antho: An Anthology of Bear Comics. Stoll’s scholarship has appeared in The International Journal of Comic Art; Marg, A Magazine of the Arts; Cultures of Comics Work; and The Routledge Companion to Comics.

Charlie Woodside – instagram.com/bmmc.art

Charlie is an indie comic artist and filmmaker local to the East Lansing area. He is perusing a degree in film while he makes comics. When he’s not working on comics or film he is normally playing Quidditch with his friends or rolling on the Judo mats.

Bruce Worden – sketchsketchsketch.com

Raised by a band of river pirates, Bruce Worden spent seven years and seven months learning clarinet before he found out they weren’t that kind of band. He walked the plank, switched to keyboards, and has been relatively (if not objectively) happy ever since.